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Dick Brang


Date and Place of Birth: 1924 Detroit, MI
Date and Place of Death:    January 15, 1944 at sea in the south Pacific
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Third Base
Rank: Private First Class
Military Unit: Company B, 10th Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 4th Marine Division, US Marine Corps
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

Richard H. “Dick” Brang, the son of Eugene and Margaret Brang, was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1924. The family later moved to Toledo, Ohio, where Brang's father worked as a safety engineer at an automobile factory and young Dick played varsity baseball at DeVilbiss High School. Graduating in 1942, the 18-year-old third baseman signed with the LaCrosse Blackhawks of the Class D Wisconsin State League, and played 26 games, batting .205 with 18 hits in 88 at-bats. He hit two triples that year, one was against the Wisconsin Rapids on May 29 in a five-inning game that was halted by rain. Brang hit a fourth inning bases-loaded triple and raced home with the fourth run when the throw from the right fielder got away from the catcher.  

Brang, who had also played amateur baseball in Omaha, Nebraska, entered military service with the Marine Corps in 1943, and served in the south Pacific as a Private First Class with the 10th Amphibian Tractor Battalion. On January 15, 1944, Brang tragically died of peritonitis, an inflammation of the peritoneum - the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs - while aboard the destroyer USS La Vallette (DD-448). Burial was held at sea that day and he is remembered at the Honolulu Memorial in Hawaii.  His name was also listed on a memorial plaque that hung at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. The plaque is now displayed at historic Brown Park, a South Omaha ballfield. 















La Crosse

Wisconsin State












Dick Brang

Dick Brang (front row, second left) with the DeVilbiss High School baseball team in 1942

USS La Vallette (DD-448)

USS La Vallette (DD-448). The destroyer on which Dick Brang tragically lost his life.

Memorial Plaque

The memorial plaque that had hung at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune June 1, 1942
World War II War Diaries, 1941-1945 - COM LST FLOT 13,War Diary, 1/1/44 to 2/29/44

Thanks to Astrid van Erp, for help with photos for this biography.

Date Added August 10, 2013. Updated July 30, 2017

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